Things picked up again in 1976, but without the perfumed presence of the 'Penthouse Pets'. Chris McGahan had a second, third and fourth at Snetterton; Martin Sharpe had a second and first at Brands in Production races; and Chris and Martin, on the 1000cc bike, had a second place at Zandvoort in a 600km race. [Classic Racer, Spring 1990]
March 21st Sunday at Snetterton: The fun started in the scrutineering bay! (in the Avon Roadrunner series for production machines) Riders met with an unflinching scrutineer in Hugh Evans, who was bent on flushing out the bandit machines. The only bike to fall foul of the rules was Chris McGahan's unashamed Gus Kuhn 900 BMW endurance machine. He was allowed to ride, but wouldn't qualify for the points in the series. It didn't quench his style, though. Punching the electric start button at the dead-engine start, he wrestled the big black flat twin into an immediate impressive lead. By the half way mark Peter Davies' Laverda had passed the Bee-Emm, with Steve Wynne (Ducati Desmo) at his heels. Passing and repassing, it was Davies at the flag, with McGahan third. [Motor Cycle 27/3/1976]
March 28th Sunday at Brands Hatch: Bill Marks threw his 850 Ridewood Norton away while dicing for the lead in the production race with Tony Smith on the Gus Kuhn 900cc BMW. Tony wins with M Sharpe (900 Gus Kuhn BMW) 2nd.
April 16th Friday at Brands Hatch (GP Circuit): Martin Sharpe (900 Kuhn BMW) wins the International Production race.
April 25th at Zandvoort 600 kilometre Production Race: Honda are back in the winning business. They came to Zandvoort with their brand new 940cc works fours and an entourage that recalled the halcyon days of the sixties, saw, and conquered with a casual win by Christian Leon and Roger Bowler. Second, and very impressive in this shakedown event for the year's long-distance races, was the Gus Kuhn team of Martin Sharpe and Chris McGahan (980 BMW) who had had a practice prang. [John Nutting, Motor cycle 1/5/1976]
May 31st Monday at Brands Hatch: Martin Sharpe (900 GK BMW) is 3rd in the Production race.
June at the IoM TT: Gus Kuhn entered three BMWs in the 1,000cc Production race: On the Gus Kuhn 900 BMW, Martin Sharpe made a slow start, but after co-rider Abe Alexander had sussed out an ignition switch fault which caused the power to suddenly come in and gave him a ‘moment' at Kepple Gate, they finished 2nd in their class, setting the race and lap record (15th overall). John Cowie (partnered by Alan Rogers) was lying third, but had to retire at Union Mills on the third lap. In practice Dave Cartwright (partner Ray Knight) crashed their GK BMW on the Cronk y Voddy straight and broke his arm. Ray rode a Laverda in the race with Mick Hunt.
June 13th at Mallory Park Post TT:
Martin Sharpe won the production race (and race record). Picture Left.
July 3rd & 4th at Barcelona 24 hour race: Second best British team were Martin Sharpe and John Cowie on the sole 9800cc Gus Kuhn BMW, who finished seventh. The Kuhn BeeEmm was easily picked out with its distinctive engine position – higher and farther forward, thanks to a new frame. Seventh place for Cowie and Sharpe, a total of 715 laps, not bad when you consider they lost the best part of an hour replacing a smashed rear sub-frame and suspension units. [Chris Myers, Motor Cycle 10/7/1976]
July 18th at Nurburgring 8 hour production race: Martin Sharpe and John Cowie are 5th on Gus Kuhn BMW.
August 8th at Brands Hatch, Hutchinson 100:
John Cowie took over the Gus Kuhn BMW during practice when Martin Sharpe crashed the 500 Sparton. He won, just over two seconds clear of Pete Davies on the 1000 Laverda at the end of the seven lap race.
August 14/15th at Silverstone, British Grand Prix: John Cowie's 980cc Gus Kuhn BMW flat twin shot into the lead. The race hadn't ended after the 12 laps though for two separate protests had been made over the alleged illegality of the frame used on Cowie's BeeEmm. This was the result of Vernon Cooper's over-ruling of scrutineer John Miligan after the bike had been initially declared once again a ‘bandit'. [John Nutting, Motor Cycle 21/8/1976]
Motor Cycle News
Following a protest about the eligibility of the Gus Kuhn 980 BMW that John Cowie rode into third place in the Daily Express production race at Silverstone, Gus Kuhn boss Vincent Davey had strong words about the protestors.
“They claim the frame on the machine is a works effort, but I can assure them it is not. It is not a racing frame and it is in fact used by various police and military forces.
“The frame raises the engine by about an inch and therefore makes it easier to crank into bends. If anybody wants one of them we can supply them as we have a part number for them.”
September 18/19th at the 40th Bol d'Or: The toughest, hardest-ridden and most demanding 24-hour race ever run.
Most frustrating was the 25p spring that ruined the chances of the Gus Kuhn 980cc BeeEmm of Darryl Pendlebury and John Cowie.
They lay tenth after four hours then dropped to 13 th at five hours, when the gearchange spring broke and they progressively lost the gears from second to fourth.
The necessary engine replacement would have put them well out of the placings. [Motor Cycle 25/9/1976 &
Motor Cycle News 22/9/1976 ]
September 26th Sunday at Thruxton 400 Miles Powerbike International: The first Bee Emm to drop out was the Gus Kuhn R90S of Clive Offer and John Cowie with a broken valve spring. [Chris Myers, Motor Cycle 2/10/1976]
October 31st at Brands Hatch: Powerbike International, Cowie entered in production race on 980cc Gus Kuhn BMW.